Milano-Sanremo: The ‘Who Will Win’ Piece

Milano-Sanremo is at the same time the most and least predictable race on the calendar. It’s not every race you can work through every single scenario in which the race can be won and coming up with a manageable number - go on, try doing it with E3 Harelbeke - but then again it’s not every race that can be won by Mark Cavendish, then a few years later undergo alterations that make it notably easier, following which it is won by Vincenzo Nibali. I’m not going to go through all the scenarios in which any given rider can win, Andrew did that expertly last year and much of it is still relevant. What I aim to achieve with this preview is to come up with one name and a set of very plausible reasons why they will be the first person to win a Monument classic in 2019. This ...

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Milan – San Remo: Race Preview

The year’s first monument is upon us The smell of cut grass. The days lengthening. The Masters from Augusta. The sound of [insert local fauna as appropriate] [insert distinctive sound] in/on/beside [insert recognisable local architecture or flora as appropriate]. Milan-San Remo. Yes, spring* is coming, folks, and so is the season’s first monument. Italian cycling, never without a poetic narrative, has the first big race of the year, starting in a corner of Europe where winter isn’t too far forgotten, and finishing in the glitz, colour and sunshine of the Mediterranean coastline. Well, that’s the theory, anyway – the weather doesn’t always align with the narrative. * In the Northern hemisphere. Chris has given us the colour and the history of the race. Conor feels confident that he can tell us all the winner. Which leaves me to look at how the race will unfold. It is a pretty familiar ...

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No Milan-San Remo for Mark Cavendish

Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) gets to the finish line in La Rosiere, but not within the time cuts

Dimension Data have revealed their line-up for Milan-San Remo , confirming that 2009 winner Mark Cavendish will be absent. The South African squad will instead be led by sprinter Giacomo Nizzolo. Cavendish has raced every edition of La Classicissima since winning on his debut 10 years ago, but has endured a complicated couple of years due to Epstein Barr Virus. The 33-year-old took an extended break in the second half of last year after the virus came back for a second time, and has been easing his way back into racing in 2019. After finishing the Vuelta a San Juan and UAE Tour, where he primarily worked for teammates, he suffered a setback at Paris-Nice last week as he struggled in the crosswinds and abandoned on stage 2. Cavendish is clearly some way short of full strength, as he was absent from the seven-man team for Milan-San Remo announced by ...

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Defending Milan-San Remo champion Nibali leads strong Bahrain-Merida team

Caleb Ewan, Vincenzo Nibali and Arnaud Demare on the Milan-San Remo podium

The winner of last year's Milan-San Remo , Vincenzo Nibali , will lead a strong Bahrain-Merida squad at this year's race on Saturday, and says that he's feeling his form is getting better all the time. The Italian's last race was Tirreno-Adriatico – the traditional build-up race for Milan-San Remo – where he finished 15th overall, and clearly not yet at his best this season. "I'm happy with the 'signals' I got from Tirreno-Adriatico because they showed that my condition is improving," Nibali said on his team's website. Nibali attacked with six kilometres to go at last year's race, soloing to a memorable victory as the bunch bore down on him, with runner-up Caleb Ewan and third-placed Arnaud Démare not quite able to catch him on the line. Nibali will be supported by a strong team that includes Sonny Colbrelli, Matej Mohoric, Marcel Sieberg, and Heinrich Haussler, who finished second ...

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Winners and Losers From the Week in Stage Racing

Alright, the first week of (real) World Tour stage racing is in the can. Some riders saw their stock go up, while others were left searching for answers. Let’s have a look at who came out on top, who didn’t and what that means moving forward. Winner: Sam Bennett The Irish Fastman had a pretty good 2018 with 3 stage wins in the Giro and a smattering of other better than expected results. For his sins, he lost his spot on the Giro roster to Pascal Ackermann. And now he is pissed. While handling his displeasure through the media swimmingly, his 2019 is so far going even better, with a win at UAE and now two stage wins at Paris-Nice, including an extremely impressive navigation through traffic to take stage 6, that really showed his chutzpah. Maybe the better competition went to Italy, but it’s not exactly nobodies that he’s ...

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Mark Cavendish likely to miss Milan-San Remo

Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data)

Mark Cavendish ( Dimension Data ) is likely to miss this weekend's Milan-San Remo , Cyclingnews understands. The Dimension Data line-up for the first Monument of the season will only be finalised following the conclusion of Tirreno-Adriatico but Cavendish is unlikely to be one of the seven on the start line. Cavendish has had a quiet start to the season as he has made his comeback to racing following a lengthy layoff at the end of last year due to a recurrence of Epstein Barr, which had also forced him out of a large part of the 2017 season. The Manxman made his season debut at the Vuelta a San Juan in January, almost six months after his final race of 2018. The race gave him a chance to get back into the peloton with limited pressure on his shoulders and his best result was eighth on the opening day ...

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Racing Analysis: An early look at the state of the world’s best sprinters

The early season is always full of fast finishes. Where do the sport's top sprinters stand? The post Racing Analysis: An early look at the state of the world’s best sprinters appeared first on CyclingTips .

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Tour of California announces 2019 teams

The Tour of California takes off from Pismo Beach in 2015

Organisers of the Amgen Tour of California men's and women's races released their 2019 team rosters today, with both races featuring multiple returning champions to battle it out past iconic California landmarks and up some of the state's most notorious climbs. The Amgen Tour of California men's race will feature the US national team for the first time this year when the race rolls out of Sacramento. USA Cycling will field a roster of riders whose trade teams aren't competing in the race, joining 18 other teams on the roads from the start in the Golden State's capitol on May 12 to the finish in Pasadena on May 18. Thirteen WorldTour teams have signed up for the men's race in its third year on the WorldTour calendar, joining five Pro Continental teams and the US national team to form the biggest men's field yet. Defending champion Egan Bernal (Team Sky) ...

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Tour of California confirms George Bennett, Kittel, van Garderen for 2019 race

Overall winner George Bennett punches the air

The Amgen Tour of California will release the complete list of teams for its 2019 men's and women's races on Thursday, but organisers of the US WorldTour race have used their local media accounts to leak a few of the teams and riders who will compete at the May races. Jumbo-Visma 's George Bennett, who won the race in 2017 but did not defend his title last year, will return with the Dutch team this year to try and claim another title. His American teammate Sepp Kuss previously told Cyclingnews that he will be joining Bennett on the start line May 12 in Sacramento. The race also revealed that Tejay van Garderen , who won the race in 2013 and was second last year to Team Sky's Egan Bernal, will return to California this year with his new team EF Education First . Van Garderen's new teammate Dani Martinez was ...

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Tirreno-Adriatico team time trial start times

Jos van Emden (LottoNl-Jumbo)

Tirreno-Adriatico will start as it has done for the past three seasons with a team time trial in Lido di Camaiore. It was supposed to start that way back in 2015, but storms forced a shorter individual effort. The route will match that of last year’s opening stage, with a relatively straight out-and-back ride. Given the lack of big mountain finishes, it could play an even bigger role in deciding the overall classification, alongside the final 10.1km effort in San Benedetto del Tronto. Though the course is relatively simple on paper, it has caused some issues for some in the past. Mark Cavendish crashed heavily on this stage last year after hitting a pothole, while disaster struck for Team Sky the previous season when they suffered a series of dramatic mechanical failures. AG2R La Mondiale will kick proceedings off at 2pm local time, with Dimension Data following on five minutes ...

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Mark Cavendish abandons Paris-Nice after 'challenging two days'

Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data)

Mark Cavendish abandoned Paris-Nice during stage 2 on Monday, with his Dimension Data team explaining that he is still working his way back towards full fitness following his struggles with Epstein Barr Virus. Crosswinds battered the peloton on the opening two stages of the French WorldTour race, with a long list of crashes and riders who lost time due to the echelons and splits in the field. Cavendish's race did not come to an end because of a crash, but his team described it as "a challenging two days" for the 33-year-old. He finished fifth last on stage 1, almost nine minutes behind stage winner and sprint rival Dylan Groenwegen (Jumbo-Visma), and left the race on stage 2 as the wind inflicted even more damage. "Mark Cavendish was forced to stop on the back of a challenging two days," said Dimension Data directeur sportif Rolf Aldag. "The race was just ...

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Crashes and crosswinds batter Paris-Nice again

Crosswinds caused splits on the Paris-Nice peloton

The record books will state that Dylan Groenewegen won stage 2 of the 2019 Paris-Nice in a reduced bunch sprint with the remnants of the main field finishing just a few seconds behind but that one fact does not do the race justice after another epic day of crosswinds and echelon racing that saw the action never let up for even a single moment of the 165km stage. By the time Groenewegen made his way to the podium to collect his second bouquet of the race and the yellow jersey, stragglers were still crossing the line in ones and twos, some of them with the jerseys ripped from a day that saw numerous crashes and several abandons, including Mark Cavendish, Louis Meintjes, Rigoberto Uran, Warren Barguil and last year's third-place finisher Gorka Izagirre. The race has yet to reach a time trial or an uphill finish yet has seen back-to-back ...

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CCC Team will support Mareczko in Paris-Nice sprints

Jakub Mareczko steps up to WorldTour with CCC Team in 2019

The CCC Team will support sprinter Jakub Mareczko in the Paris-Nice bunch finishes over the first three stages and then turn to Amaro Antunes and Víctor de la Parte for general classification results in the eight-day WorldTour race that starts Sunday in Saint-Germain-en-Laye. "Our first objective at Paris-Nice will be to target stage wins, and on the opening three days, which will likely end in a bunch sprint, Jakub Mareczko will be our leader," said team director Piotr Wadecki. "Around him, we will have a strong and experienced group of riders who can not only help get him in the right position, but who can also take any opportunities to go in breakaways and fight for their own success over the rest of the race. Along with Mareczko, Antunes and De la Parte, the team will also field Will Barta, Alessandro De Marchi, Laurens Ten Dam and Francisco Ventoso. "For ...

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Flying Too Close to the Sun: Paris - Nice Preview

Race to the sun, my ass.

There’s always a discussion around this time about which is the better race-- Paris - Nice or Tirreno-Adriatico-- as the peloton gets split between the two races. The consensus view is usually that TA is the better race-- it gets the better riders and has the better route. Here’s the thing, though. Anyone that still believes that has not been watching PN during the last three years. Each of the last three years has been a barn burner of a race, easily in contention for best week long stage race of the year as well as race day of the year and probably only losing out on those honors due to its placement on the calendar-- before the spring classics and all of the grand tours cloud our collective memories. 2016 saw Geraint Thomas take the GC victory over Alberto Contador by a mere 4 seconds and saw a vintage ...

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Time to draw breath

A rare day without racing allows us to take stock of the year so far A midweek pot-luck today, as we draw breath after a start to the FSA-DS season that took in the inaugural UAE Tour, two hilly races in France, Opening Weekend and Le Samyn. There’s no attempt below to be comprehensive, just a few of my thoughts coming out of the first bout of races, with a few diversions for other matters arising. The Joy of Teammates My wish for all of you is that you have someone who’ll do for you in life what Tim Declercq will do for the Deceuninck Quick-Step team in a bike race. Namely, put everything they have on the line in pursuit of your success. His ride in the finale of Le Samyn was the most visible part of Quick Step’s tactical success in the opening three classics, but it was ...

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Bob Jungels wins Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne solo to crown perfect weekend for Deceuninck-QuickStep

Bob Jungels wins Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne solo to crown perfect weekend for Deceuninck-QuickStep

Joe Robinson 3 Mar 2019 A powerful performance from Jungels who used time trialling ability to win solo in Kuurne Deceuninck-QuickStep doubled up on the opening weekend of the Spring Classics as Bob Jungels produced an extraordinary solo performance to win Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne. Jungels was the race's strongest rider, escaping a small group 16km away from the line, holding off a rampaging peloton to an impressive win. Britain's Owain Doull impressed to win the sprint for second as Niki Terpstra (Direct Energie) rolled over the line in third. Jungels victory came as a result of the QuickStep team lacking a sprinter. With this in mind, their powerful team used the early climbs and crosswinds to cause havoc in the peloton, with Jungels eventually finishing off the work of his team in style, alone. This sees the Deceuninck-QuickStep team finish the opening weekend of the Classics with victory in both Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne and ...

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Exclusive preview: Yorkshire 2019 UCI Road World Championships official sportive

Jack Elton-Walters 28 Feb 2019 Take on the same roads as the pros this September at the Yorkshire 2019 World Championships sportive This September, the UCI Road World Championships will visit the UK for the first time since 1982 as Yorkshire plays host to the world's best riders. Along with the pro races, Human Race Events and the UCI have teamed up to run a one-off sportive, which will give everyday riders the chance to take on some of the same roads as the pros. Joining Cyclist for an exclusive look at the route were Olympic track champion Dani Rowe – an ambassador for the event – along with Simon Warren, whose 100 Climbs books will be familiar to many readers, and riders from the Yorkshire Lass Cycling Club . On a cold and blustery day, just before February's temperatures crept up to record-breaking levels, the long route was tackled ...

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Cavendish among the stars at UAE Tour

Cavendish among the stars at UAE Tour

Mark Cavendish will commence the inaugural UAE Tour from today with modest aims and an uncertainty over form as he continues a comeback from Epstein-Barr virus.

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Mark Cavendish: I don't remember what it's like to feel normal anymore

Mark Cavendish gets ready to start the 2019 season in Argentina

After two seasons blighted by illness and injury, Mark Cavendish said that he’s forgotten what it feels like to be normal but the Manxman is happy to be racing again. After starting his 2019 season at the Vuelta a San Juan, Cavendish is continuing his comeback with Dimension Data this week at the UAE Tour. Prior to San Juan, Cavendish had not raced since the RideLondon Surrey-Classic at the end of July, following further problems with Epstein Barr virus. The Manxman was been forced to miss much of the opening part of the 2017 season due to the virus. He also affected by crashes at three consecutive races at the start of last season - which also left him with a concussion, then the Epstein Barr virus forced him to take further time away. Cavendish said that the multiple setbacks had been frustrating and suggested that a misdiagnosis by doctors ...

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Stars assemble for the inaugural UAE Tour – Gallery

Who is the pharaoh of the UAE Tour sprints?

The dramatic-looking Louvre Abu Dhabi provided the backdrop for the team presentation; pre-race press conference and photo shoot ahead of the inaugural UAE Tour . The seven-day WorldTour race starts on Sunday with 16km team time trial with two mountain finishes expected to decide the overall winner. Saturday was an unusually grey day in the gulf but it was brightened up by a star-studded peloton. The riders had arrived on Thursday and Friday ahead of the opening stage on Sunday afternoon and shook off the jet lag by training for the team time trial. One rider that wasn't at the team presentation was Pierre Latour (AG2R La Mondiale), who crashed in training on Saturday morning and broke his wrist. The so-called top riders got to visit the new Louvre museum and then posed for photographs with the winner's 24ct gold-plated heptagon trophy. They also faced questions from local and international ...

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